There are many different types of swimming pool pumps. Features can vary by type and by brand. This guide is designed to explain many of the common features as well as common problems you may encounter with your swimming pool pumps.
- Single speed
- Dual speed
- Variable speed
- Determine the correct RPM for the variable speed pump
- Common maintenance items with a swimming pool pump
- Common issues
- Air in the pump basket
- Impellor clogs
- Capacitor failure
Single-speed pool pumps
A single-speed pool pump is the most basic type of pool pump. It has only one-speed setting, which is typically the highest speed that the pump is capable of. Single-speed pool pumps are the least energy-efficient type of pool pump, as they are not designed to adjust their speed to match the changing needs of the pool. They are also generally louder and less durable than other types of pool pumps. Despite these drawbacks, single-speed pool pumps are the most affordable type of pool pump and are a good option for pool owners on a budget. They are also simple to operate, as they do not require the user to adjust the speed of the pump manually.
A dual-speed pool pump is a type of pool pump that has two different speed settings: a high-speed setting for normal operation and a low-speed setting for energy-saving operation. Dual-speed pool pumps offer the benefits of both a single-speed pool pump and a variable-speed pool pump. Like a single-speed pool pump, they are simple to operate and do not require the user to adjust the speed of the pump manually. Like a variable speed pool pump, they are more energy efficient and can save money on electricity costs. Dual-speed pool pumps are typically more energy efficient than single-speed pool pumps, but not as energy efficient as variable-speed pool pumps. They are a good option for pool owners who want the convenience of a single-speed pump, but also want to save energy and reduce their operating costs.
A variable-speed pool pump is a type of pool pump that is designed to be more energy efficient than a traditional single-speed pool pump. It uses an electric motor that can operate at a range of speeds, allowing it to deliver the required flow rate for the pool while using less energy. This can help to reduce electricity costs and also reduce the amount of wear and tear on the pump and the pool’s circulation system. A variable speed pool pump typically has a user-friendly control panel that allows the user to easily adjust the speed of the pump to match the needs of the pool. Some variable-speed pool pumps are also equipped with built-in timers and other features that can help automate the pump’s operation. In addition to being more energy efficient, variable-speed pool pumps are generally quieter and more durable than single-speed pool pumps.
How to determine the RPM to set for variable speed pool pumps
To determine the correct RPM (revolutions per minute) to set a variable speed pool pump, you will need to consider several factors, including the size of the pool, the flow rate of the pump, and the required turnover rate for the pool. The turnover rate is the amount of time it takes for all of the water in the pool to be filtered and circulated through the pump. For a typical residential pool, the turnover rate should be between 6 and 8 hours. To determine the correct RPM for your variable speed pool pump, you can use the following formula:
Flow rate (gallons per minute) x turnover rate (hours) / pool volume (gallons) = RPM
For example, if your pool has a flow rate of 75 gallons per minute, a turnover rate of 8 hours, and a volume of 20,000 gallons, the correct RPM for your variable speed pool pump would be:
75 gallons per minute x 8 hours / 20,000 gallons = 0.3 RPM
Once you have determined the correct RPM for your pool, you can set the speed of your variable speed pool pump accordingly. It is important to note that the exact RPM setting may vary depending on your specific pool and pump, so it is always best to consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific information about your pump.
Common pool pump maintenance items
There are several common maintenance items that should be performed on a swimming pool pump on a regular basis to ensure that it is operating properly and efficiently. These maintenance items include:
- Cleaning the pump strainer basket: The pump strainer basket collects debris that is pulled into the pump from the pool. It should be cleaned regularly to prevent the basket from becoming clogged, which can reduce the flow of water through the pump and cause it to become less efficient.
- Checking and replacing the pump impeller: The impeller is a spinning blade inside the pump that helps to move the water through the pump and into the pool. It can become damaged or worn over time, which can reduce the flow of water through the pump and cause it to become less efficient. The impeller should be checked regularly for damage and replaced as needed.
- Lubricating the pump: The pump’s moving parts, such as the impeller and the motor, should be lubricated regularly to prevent them from becoming worn or damaged. This can help to extend the life of the pump and ensure that it is operating efficiently.
- Checking and replacing the pump seals: The seals on the pump help to prevent water from leaking out of the pump and into the pool’s circulation system. They can become worn or damaged over time, which can cause leaks and reduce the efficiency of the pump. The seals should be checked regularly for damage and replaced as needed.
- Checking and adjusting the pump’s flow rate: The flow rate of the pump should be checked regularly to ensure that it is set to the correct level for the pool. If the flow rate is too low, the pump may not be able to effectively circulate the water in the pool. If the flow rate is too high, the pump may be using more energy than necessary. The flow rate can be adjusted as needed to ensure that the pump is operating efficiently.
By performing these maintenance items regularly, you can help to ensure that your swimming pool pump is operating properly and efficiently. This can help to extend the life of the pump and save money on energy costs.
Cavitation is a phenomenon that can occur in a swimming pool pump when the flow of water through the pump is too low. This can cause the water to become stagnant inside the pump, which can create a vacuum and cause bubbles to form. When the bubbles collapse, they create a shock wave that can cause damage to the pump’s impeller and other moving parts. This can result in reduced efficiency and can cause the pump to become noisy or fail completely. Cavitation can be caused by several factors, including a clogged pump strainer basket, a worn or damaged impeller, or a flow rate that is too low. To prevent cavitation in a swimming pool pump, it is important to regularly clean the pump strainer basket, check and replace the impeller as needed, and adjust the flow rate to ensure that it is set to the correct level for the pool.
Air in the pump basket
Air in a filter pump basket can be caused by a variety of factors. One common cause is a lack of water in the pool, which can cause the pump to suck in the air along with water. Another potential cause is a clogged or damaged filter, which can prevent the water from flowing properly and cause air to be drawn into the pump. Additionally, air can enter the pump basket if there is a leak in the plumbing or if the pump lid is not properly sealed. The most common cause of air in the pump basket is a leaky seal on the pump lid. This can be remedied usually by cleaning the o-ring and applying lubrication to the seal.
One way to determine if you have a clogged impeller in your pump is to listen for any unusual noises coming from the pump. A clogged impeller can cause the pump to make grinding or buzzing noises. Another way to tell if the impeller is clogged is to check the flow of water through the pump. A clogged impeller can cause the water flow to be reduced or stopped altogether. Additionally, you can try to manually rotate the impeller to see if it is stuck or difficult to move, which can also be a sign of a clogged impeller. If you suspect that your impeller is clogged, it is best to shut off the pump and contact a professional for further assistance.
There are a few signs that you may have a capacitor failure in your pool pump. One common sign is that the pump will not start or will have difficulty starting. This is because the capacitor is responsible for providing the initial surge of electricity needed to start the pump motor. If the capacitor is failing, it may not be able to provide this surge of electricity, causing the pump to struggle to start or not start at all.
Another sign of a capacitor failure is that the pump will make a humming or buzzing noises when it is running. This is because the capacitor is responsible for maintaining a constant flow of electricity to the motor, and if it is failing, the motor may not be receiving a steady flow of electricity, causing it to make noises.
Additionally, if the pump is running but the water flow is weak or nonexistent, this can also be a sign of a capacitor failure. This is because a failing capacitor can cause the pump motor to run slower than normal, which can reduce the water flow.
If you suspect that you have a capacitor failure in your pool pump, it is best to shut off the pump and contact a professional for further assistance.